Hampi is more than just the ruins of an ancient empire Vijayanagara.
Here are some of the offbeat things you can relish in while in Hampi.
• Coracle Ride: Ride on a coracle across the mighty Tungbhadra river and get transported immediately a few centuries back. Coracle is a traditional round shaped boat and usually has capacity for 2 people only. You can slowly enjoy the beauty around the river for just around Rs 30-50 only.
• Rock Climbing sessions: Ride on the ubiquitous boulders and absorb the panoramic view of the town. Boulders are the characteristic trait of Hampi and wherever you look, you would find beautiful boulders dotting the landscape. Try your hand at rock climbing on the boulders. Early morning and evening rock climbing sessions are offered across many places in the town.
• Nature walks: Take a walk along the paddy fields lined by banana trees and stalwart palm trees marking the boundary of the landscape in sight. The three-tiered landscape formed by palm trees marking the top layer, the banana plantation in the middle rung, and the paddy fields at the bottom of the tier make it a beautiful sight in the Monsoon season when all around you can only see Green. A walk through these paddy fields is soothing for the eyes and gives you a much needed calm.
• Visit Monkey Temple: Take a climb to the Monkey Temple and feed the monkeys with your own hands. The climb to the monkey temple is extremely tiring with 575 stairs to the top! But once you reach the top, the view is simple breathtaking. With cool breeze blowing through your hair and the panoramic town view- boulders, green fields, and of course the Virupaksha temple in distance is every bit worth the effort in reaching the top. The sunset hues from the temple are exquisite.
• Swim in the dam and the waterfall (beware of crocodiles though): Although clear warnings have been written at the dam about crocodiles, it is best to ask the locals about it. If the locals say it is safe and devoid of any water creatures, then do take a swim in the dam. The water is soothing and the swim is extremely pleasant.
• Immerse yourself in the History of the ruins: Get absorbed in the intriguing stories of centuries’ old lost empire. There are lots of book stores where you can find all kinds of books on Hampi. It is always good to know about the history of the empire the ruins of which you see in Hampi. The stories make it fascinating to relate to the ruins in their present shape. If you don’t want to read, then local guides can be hired too.
• Get lost in the grid lanes of the town while taking a walk. Only in Hampi is it fun to get lost ‘coz by getting lost you stumble upon something even more breath-taking. While returning back from a waterfall, we got lost in order to find a shortcut. But by getting lost, we accidently came across a very beautiful lake which we otherwise would have missed.
• Sit by the river, on a boulder, or in paddy fields. Do nothing. Just soak the nature in your eyes. There are infinite spots in the town to contemplate and have your silent “me-time”. Peaceful spots are plenty in the town.
• Go to Sunset-points: Catch the sunset vibes from any of the numerous sunset points. Beautiful hues in the sky, the magnificent town view, Tungabhadra River singing in distance, the guardian Virupaksha temple standing tall, and of course the glowing boulders are some of the elements that make the sunset from any of the point in Hampi breathtaking. And to complement it, there are evening jamming sessions that take place at these points during sunset to make the vibes even more vibrant.
• Get jammed by herds of sheep which are very frequent on the lanes of Hampi. If you step out on a vehicle, there are high chances that you would come across traffic jam (where sheep is the traffic) atleast once through your excursion trip. It already feels like having been deported a couple of centuries back. These are the kind of jams I don’t mind coming across.